The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Pollster

Trust in Congress Scrapes the Bottom of the Barrel

By Jon Cohen
The summer solstice looms, but Congress could not be further from the sun.

A new Gallup poll released this today shows the U.S. Congress at the bottom of a list of 16 "institutions" in terms of public trust.

Only 12 percent of those polled said they have a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of trust in the legislative branch. That puts Congress not only a whopping 59 points behind the military, which tops the list, but also numerically below every institution Gallup has tested in polls back to 1973.

The low reviews, moreover, cross party lines. Just 16 percent of Democrats, 10 percent of Republicans and 8 percent of independents express confidence in Congress.

Despite the low regard for the Democratic-led Congress as a whole, in the latest Post-ABC poll, 52 percent said they would support the Democratic candidate in their local congressional race; 37 percent said they would vote GOP.

Posted at 6:32 PM ET on Jun 20, 2008  | Category:  The Pollster
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People should read the full list, using the link in the article, to the Gallup poll. Very few institutions have a favorable approval rating from a majority of Americans. Television news and newspapers each only received a 24% favorable perspective. The Presidency was at 26%.

No wonder the ratings of Congress are so low though. The Democrats have nearly been a complete failure in enacting the changes they promised during the elections two years ago. They have given in to the demands of Bush on virtually every issue. They have enacted zero changes in the disastrous Iraq occupation.

The Republicans, by and large, deserve low ratings because they are meek sheep, adhering to widely unpopular Bush-Cheney policies. The Democrats, however, have proven to be little better, nearly offering a lite GOP opposition to hard core conservative GOP.

Posted by: Independent | June 23, 2008 1:50 PM

yeah the dems are the answer alright.The answer to what?Bush commits the crimes and Pelosi protects him.Our government needs an enema and we need to insert the tube in washington.

Posted by: pooty | June 22, 2008 7:53 PM

one of the problems is that we the American people do not reward courage and conviction. Senator Leahy for example, or that other Senator from Illinois. These Senator's spoke up time and time again. They called hearings, they dressed down senior officials, and because of "maybe" their photogenic projection are not now out leading voices in assisting us in choosing the best candidate. The repugs are good about elevating their most repugnant to leading stature positions (think Helms) and sliding their malcontents to obscurity (Lincoln Chafee). Democrats reward photogenic, people magazine covers (Kerry) with a backstory. Anyway, not as if Bush won in a landslide so there is the prospect that we could get a another "Photogenic" in the Executive Branch.

Man-oman, could we ever have such a shining city on a hill Republic that would be the directional objective of a Leahy. Maybe if we nominate him as Veep!!!!! Gotta admit they would make a great counter to Cheney/Bush.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | June 22, 2008 3:17 PM

NEXT, we have Senator Kennedy!

Yeah, he has some miles and a little baggage. But, he could be packaged as Experienced and does have some Seniority to go with those occasional "Senior" Moments.

Doesn't require much food, just lots of Alcohol. Sleeps often so is a very good listener!

Was recently Over-hauled, and made more Complacent and gullible in the process!

Over-all, a GREAT Bargain!

Leaders, and Lobbyests, Let's start the Bidding at $1 Cool Million!

Can I get a Million for da-guy!?

One Million from Georgie Soros, who'll get me TWO?...

C'mon Folks, Anyone with the Money can get in! Let's secure your interests here! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | June 22, 2008 11:07 AM

The Democrats in the Congress are the solution. Americans have a low opinion of Congress due to Republican attacks and the Republican Minority's fillibustering and obstructionism.
Not only do I trust a spitting cobra more but would feel far safer sleeping with one then trusting Democrats or Republican party promises.

Try voting for a person, as the party's both of them just screw ya.

Posted by: John C. Page III | June 21, 2008 11:02 PM

The Democrats in the Congress are the solution. Americans have a low opinion of Congress due to Republican attacks and the Republican Minority's fillibustering and obstructionism.

Posted by: Marc | June 21, 2008 9:48 PM


Posted by: John C. Page III | June 21, 2008 7:59 PM

About Congress: What's wrong, why is it wrong, what do we need to do to fix it? Why do we keep returning members to Congress at a plus 90% rate? Why do we let money control the votes of members of Congress? Why are the constituents no longer important to members of Congress? These questions are analyzed and solutions are suggested in "Why Is Congress The Way It Is?". It can be found at:
Just cut and paste.

Posted by: Ken Moyes | June 21, 2008 2:46 PM

It would be nice if anybody in any branch of the government would do what they committed to in a campaign or during a hearing. Unfortunately, a judge in a hearing can say they believe one thing, and then vote a different way in session. A Senator or Congressman can campaign on a position during elections and then vote an opposite way in session. Of course we know the President thinks he can do whatever he wants. Forget campaign commitments. If he doesn't like a new law passed by Congress, he just writes a signing order, telling the administration (all the branches that enforce laws) what to enforce and what to ignore. How good to be KING?????

Posted by: JM | June 21, 2008 7:40 AM

When Congress gives a president with a lower approval rating than herpes everything he wants, why should anyone be surprised at the numbers.

Posted by: Disgusted Dem | June 21, 2008 5:06 AM

We'd be a whole lot happier if they started acting responsibly. Go read a few bills and its easy enough to figure out that they slap a title which is the opposite of the effect of the bill most the time. Then they put so much in the bill that its impossible for a constituent to read, and the media sends out PR reports on what it is about. They bills are nothing but trash written by their favorite contributers, not to benefit the country, to benefit themselves.

Posted by: winmeze | June 21, 2008 1:32 AM

Congress, once an Independent Branch of government,it now copies what the White House sends them, and the US has new law.

Wow, and no words spelled wrong, what a congress

Posted by: Stephen F. Kislock III | June 20, 2008 10:55 PM



The Nominee for President of the US:


Posted by: SAINT---The | June 20, 2008 8:50 PM

The current Congress is a bunch of cowards.

Don't expect to get our votes next time.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 7:13 PM

for the latest on the presidential race:

the latest posts are about traveling with the obama campaign

Posted by: tomabrahams | June 20, 2008 6:45 PM

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